Have you sat idling time away on YouTube watching hilarious cat videos, while a guilty voice in the back of your mind whispers an endless to-do list? We have all fallen victim to procrastination at some time or another. Some of us procrastinate without even realising we are doing it, while others know but just can’t seem to shake themselves into action.

Often, it stems from having plenty to do, but having no real urgency to do it. A deadline for a task can give the majority of us the hefty shove we need in the right direction to get something done, even if it’s completed at the last minute. But much to our detriment, the important things can fall by the wayside because they lack a specific deadline. We can often fall into the trap of working to urgency and not importance.

Learning to manage your time effectively can be a vital skill for success. Ultimately, you are getting paid for your time, and the more productive you can be with it, the more you are worth. Understanding where your time is best spent can be a real step in the right direction to shaking off your procrastination monster. The fear of rejection often leads to procrastination for sales people, because they would rather spend their time in the rejection-free haven of admin. But the reality is, if you are not contacting clients or prospective clients, you’re not making sales. Use the conversion figures in your workplace to approximate how much time per day you need to spend in contact with your clients to reach your goals, and put a plan in place to action this new schedule.

If you have a task that needs completing, but it has no deadline, try setting one for yourself. Make sure it is a realistic deadline. It will give you a great sense of achievement once you have completed it.

Mobile technology has made us all more accessible than ever outside of working hours. The positive to this is flexibility – we can start thinking in terms of goals rather than working days, and how quickly you achieve something is within your control. It is also, however, the procrastination monster’s best friend. You have a window to the world in the form of your mobile phone, and few things can be more distracting than that. If you know you are prone to while away the hours on Facebook, keep your phone out of sight.
When it comes to time management, there is no “one size fits all”. We all function differently, and the key is to try a few techniques to see what works best for you.
What have you tried to manage your time more effectively? And how do you reduce the risk of distraction?